Saturday, August 20, 2016

Netflix Movie Review: "This Is 40" (2012)

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Movie"This Is 40"
Director: Judd Apatow
Year: 2012
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 14 minutes

Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are turning 40 and starting to realize their life isn't turning out how they imagined. Their businesses are failing, their kids fight all the time, and they are financially struggling. All these problems are starting to put a strain on their relationship. 

After a surprisingly hilarious and unconventional romantic-ish comedy in "Knocked Up," Judd Apatow returns to direct what should have been the sequel called "This is 40." Seemingly doomed from the start since neither Seth Rogen nor Katherine Heigl return for this installment, instead, this movie shifts its focus from that particular couple and their new baby to Heigl's movie sister Debbie, played by Apatow's real life wife Leslie Mann, and her husband Pete, played by Paul Rudd, and their 2 daughters. What an unfortunate choice this turned out to be.

Judd Apatow's indirect sequel is all about the relationship between this husband and wife, who are both approaching 40 years in age, are running struggling businesses, are having problems with their kids, as well as the strain all of this puts on their relationship. Unfortunately, "This is 40" falls way, way, way short of its predecessor in terms of laughs. Paul Rudd is still as lovable and as sarcastic as ever, and he's really the only good part about this movie. Rudd has this dickish charm we adore. Even when he's saying not so nice things, he's still moderately endearing. Leslie Mann does her insecure/sometimes loud/insulting style of humor for the thousandth time. The problem with this on-screen couple is we didn't really believe their chemistry in the first film, so when the focus shifted to them as the main characters, it became even more apparent these two individuals should never have been leads. There's really no spark between them, and when they are going through their darkest hours together, all we could think of was "we hope they get divorced, especially for the sake of their kids."

Even with returning supporting cast members like Jason Segel and Charlene Yi, something doesn't ever quite click for "This Is 40." It's not completely devoid of humor. There are laughs spattered throughout the film, but there's not enough of them to make us feel like the film as a whole was worth the over 2 hours we invested in watching it. And speaking of time, this movie is far too long for a comedy, clocking in at 2 hours and 14 minutes. As Pete and Debbie crest 40, both of them are going through what appear to be midlife crises, and each minute wears on the audience as they find something new to complain about loudly and crassly every 5 seconds. Its slow pacing really makes it feel even longer than it is.

What "This Is 40" boils down to is a series of missed opportunities. It's all about a couple who seems completely miserable in their lives and with each other. Even in "Knocked Up," Pete and Debbie seemed miserable. Now, years later, it doesn't appear that it has gotten any better for them. The people online who have called this movie "lighthearted" must have been smoking crack because we're hard-pressed to think of a more shrill movie couple from the last few years. This movie doesn't really do or say anything new. It's just more of the same old Judd Apatow-inspired comedy, only this time, we didn't enjoy it. Stick to its predecessor.

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 51%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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